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TPI World Report - Hong Kong
04/04/2006 - Travel Professionals International

Imagine having a personal travel agent who can supply you with on-location information from time-to-time. TPI can do just that. Here’s the latest from our roving reporter, Carl Henderson, TPI's Director of Marketing & Communications.

In September 2005, a member of TPI’s head office staff, Carl Henderson, set out on a year long, around the world journey. The TPI WORLD REPORT is based on Carl’s reporting in from around the world which can be followed at http://www.mytripjournal.com/TPITraveller.

Carl's 10 Travel Tips for Hong Kong

1. Enjoy the incredible Chinese Restaurants, which are mostly located on 2nd or 3rd floors of buildings and not at street level. Very little English may be spoken if you are outside the major tourist centres but don't let that discourage you from some incredible dining experiences. There is always a way to communicate.

2. The Mid Levels Escalators are a unique network of escalators that run 800 metres up the hillside for residents to come and go from the city centre and interesting to see. Not far from here is Hollywood Road, which is famed for its antique shopping where beautiful Chinese and other Asian pieces can be purchased and shipped home.

3. A must do for all visitors is a trip up the tram to Victoria Peak where panoramic views of Hong Kong, the harbour and Kowloon are available. The first clear and sunny day you have, make a point of heading to the summit in case the remainder of your days are cloudy or overcast. The views are worth it!

4. There are numerous temples throughout the city available to visit where you can see the locals worshipping amongst swirling incense smoke and jumble of flowers and offerings left behind while listening to the noise of the rattling bamboo fortune sticks. One of the larger and most active temples is the Wong Tai Sin Temple easily accessible off the MTR (subway) stop of the same name.

5. Star Ferries have been running for years between the Kowloon mainland and the island of Hong Kong. The ride on the old ferries are inexpensive and offer some of the best views of the city's skyline and harbour. Another must for all visitors.

6. Shopping, shopping and more shopping - it draws thousands of tourists every year from the upscale malls, antique shops and high end brand labels stores to the night markets flooded with cheap clothing and imitation knock-offs of all the labels for sale just a block or two away. Bring an extra bag or suitcase to get all your purchases home.

7. If time allows, get outside the city to explore the beach areas, popular town or Aberdeen with the boat people or the outer islands of Lamma, Cheung Chau or Lantau where the Big Budha is perched and is supposed to be the largest seated Budha in the world.

8. Hong Kong is renowned for the night life especially on weekends when the city comes alive offering something for everyone. The locals, tourists and the large expatriate community from around the world fill the demand for everything from British pubs and Irish bars to dance clubs, cabarets and karaoke that will take you into the wee hours of the morning.

9. Getting around Hong Kong is best done by taxi or using their public transportation. Remember when you are taking a taxi that there is a good chance your driver will not speak English. Have a card from your hotel with you at all times and it is a good idea to have a map showing where you want to go so you can point it out to him. As always, watch to make sure they are not taking you the long way around although even if they do the fares are very reasonable. The MRT - Mass Transit Railway (subway) is also very efficient and user-friendly but at times incredibly busy although still another good option for getting around the city.

10. Many places offer discounts to senior citizens. If you are a senior and travelling make sure you remember to ask if they have senior fares.